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Zwipe reveals Middle East biometric card trials, hires smartcard industry expert


Zwipe announced that ten banks across the Middle East have begun pilots of Visa biometric payment cards featuring its unique technology platform.

The battery-less dual-interface biometric payment cards from Gemalto, featuring Zwipe’s technology platform that enables cardholders to authorize transactions with the cards’ built-in Fingerprint Cards FPC1300-series sensor, are part of an Areeba pilot program, which officially began this week with 10 banks across the Middle East with the support of Unilux Cards.

Unilux Cards is Gemalto’s established partner in Lebanon and has provided the fully interoperable EMV card. The card is powered by the POS terminal, and provides optional PIN-based authentication for step-up security, according to an earlier statement.

According to Zwipe CEO André Løvestam, “several Zwipe employees have used the card for the last two months, making transactions above and below the contactless transaction limits using their unique fingerprints to authenticate and complete payments at the point of sale without needing to enter a PIN, with the cards functioning seamlessly in both contactless and contact mode in many different payment environments across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the United States.”

Løvestam added, “we are pleased with what we have seen thus far and are optimistic that the pilots coming online now across the Middle East, and others that we have lined up in other regions, will enable our first mover advantage to translate into commercial success.”

New VP of business development

Zwipe has appointed Antonio D’Albore as Vice President of Business Development. He is a smartcard industry expert with more than twenty years of experience in smartcard development, manufacturing, personalization, integration and business development across payment, identification, transit and access control industries.

D’Albore, who will report to SVP Payments Marcio Stervid, will focus on partnership building and business development activities, initially focusing on leveraging his network in the Asia Pacific region.

Prior to Zwipe, D’Albore worked for Incard, STMicroelectronics, Matica Technologies, IPM Group, Centro Grafico and as a strategic advisor to several stakeholders in the biometric card industry. As the founder and editor-in-chief of Embedded Security News, an online resource that focuses on card technology, projects and applications for businesses and consumers, D’Albore is a recognized industry expert.

Earlier this year D’Albore released a technical report entitled “The Rise of Biometric Cards” that provides a comprehensive description of smartcard technologies that embed fingerprint sensors. D’Albore’s research has been presented at the ICMA CardTrex Europe Conference and also at ICMA EXPO.

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